Margaret and the Moon
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing is a new picture book that I read because it’s illustrated by one of my favorite artists, Lucy Knisley. It’s written by Dean Robbins.
Now, as an adult reader, once I read the subtitle, I pretty much had covered the whole book. It’s only 36 pages, and the content is about how Margaret Hamilton was curious, studied math, and didn’t let people saying “girls don’t do that” stop her. This raised a lot of questions for me, but obviously, a book aimed at children aged 4-8 years old wasn’t going to go into such details. (There is a text author’s note that gives more background about her career.)
Knisley’s art is nicely open, straightforward without fussiness, easy to read. There’s a night sky double-page spread that’s deceptively simple yet inspiring. Another page, once Margaret is working for NASA and writing code to send a spaceship to the moon, incorporates actual assembly code, which tickled me.
The back endpapers feature photos of Margaret, including the famous one of her standing next to a stack of her code that’s taller than she is, an image that Knisley redraws in the book as well.
Perhaps the book is a little too obviously geared at showing girls they can do cool things with math, and here’s an important women who’s come before them, for adults to enjoy it, but I’m glad to see it available for kids. It’s an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms.